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Mountain Sounds festival is CANCELLED with organisers blaming government’s ‘war on festivals’

Mountain Sounds festival has been cancelled with organisers claiming the government’s ‘war on festivals’ is to blame.

The cancellation comes a week before the event – scheduled for 15 and 16 Feb at the Mount Penang Parklands in New South Wales’ Central Coast.

Amid increased political scrutiny over festivals, organisers said they were slapped with a $200,000 bill for security and safety measures.

Mountain Sounds festival has been cancelled with organisers claiming the government’s ‘war on festivals’ is to blame

‘We are devastated to announce the cancellation of Mountain Sounds 2019,’ organisers wrote in an emotional statement shared to Facebook on Saturday.  

‘We, like many of you, have seen the festival climate continue to diminish in Australia. NSW in particular is in dire straits.’

‘This is yet another example of the government’s war on festivals.’  

The organisers said they previously agreed to downsize the festival to insure they met newly imposed safety, licensing and security costs for the benefit of the patrons. 

‘A mere seven days out from the event, further conditions and financial obligations were imposed on the festival, which were impossible to meet,’ the statement said.

‘In 2018, Mountain Sounds ran smoothly, with an attendance of 16,000 people over two days, 11 user pay police and no major drug-related incidents.’

The cancellation was announced in a lengthy and emotional Facebook post (pictured)

The cancellation was announced in a lengthy and emotional Facebook post (pictured)

The organisers said they previously agreed to downsize the festival to insure they met newly imposed safety, licensing and security costs for the benefit of the patrons

The organisers said they previously agreed to downsize the festival to insure they met newly imposed safety, licensing and security costs for the benefit of the patrons

‘In 2019, despite our continued proactive harm minimisation measures, we were told we would have to pay an additional upfront amount of approximately $200,000 for 45 user pay police on a 24 hour cycle.’  

Angus and Julia Stone, What So Not and Courtney Barnett were to headline the festival.  

The statement argued that the government was destroying the music industry.

‘The Liberal party’s war on festivals in NSW is real and it’s robbing you of you freedom and culture,’ the organisers wrote.

‘Who would’ve known that lock-out laws were the beginning of the death of live entertainment in NSW’. 

Amid increased political scrutiny over festivals, organisers said they were slapped with a $200,000 bill for security and safety measures

Amid increased political scrutiny over festivals, organisers said they were slapped with a $200,000 bill for security and safety measures

The statement argued that the government was destroying the music industry

The statement argued that the government was destroying the music industry

Mountain Sounds is the second NSW festival to be cancelled this week.  

On Wednesday evening, Psyfari announced they were forced to pull out on their tenth year. 

‘While we had full intention of going ahead with this, our 10th anniversary and grand finale, the current political climate surrounding festivals in NSW has made this something harder than ever before, and it really seems like a recipe for disaster,’ organisers said in a statement.  

Psyfari organisers blamed excessive rules, bans on BYO alcohol, overly heavy police presence and a general lack of freedom for their cancellation.

The cancellation comes as six people have died in just four months at festivals due to suspected drug overdoses.

The most recent drug overdose took the life of 19-year-old Alex Ross-King who attended FOMO music festival on January 12.

Just weeks before, university student Callum Edwards, 20, fell critically ill at Beyond the Valley music festival in Lardner, Victoria on December 29.

Mountain Sounds is the second NSW festival to be cancelled this week

Mountain Sounds is the second NSW festival to be cancelled this week

On Wednesday evening, Psyfari announced they were forced to pull out on their tenth year

On Wednesday evening, Psyfari announced they were forced to pull out on their tenth year

He was flown to hospital where he died of a suspected drug overdose three days later, but his family refuted this as reports emerged Mr Edwards died with tiger snake venom in his blood.

On the same day, 22-year-old Joshua Tam died after taking an unknown substance at Lost Paradise in Gosford, New South Wales.

Mr Tam, from Toowong in Brisbane, was rushed to Gosford hospital at 8pm on Saturday, December 29 and died soon after arriving.

Earlier in December, 19-year-old Callum Brosnan was found in a ‘distressed state’ at the Knockout Games of Destiny Dance Party at Sydney’s Olympic Park.

He was rushed to Concord Hospital with a suspected drug overdose just before 1.30am on December 9, but died just three hours later.

The deaths of revellers Joseph Phan, 23, and Diana Nguyen, 21, at Defqon. 1. music festival on September 15 shocked the country and threw the future of the popular Sydney festival into doubt.

The spate of fatalities has prompted the country’s largest music festival to write an open letter calling on state and territory governments to allow pill testing trials at events in a bid to prevent more deaths.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly denied pill testing, but indicated in January she would consider it if shown evidence it could save lives.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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